The Christopher Steele “dossier,” which contains salacious claims about President Trump and his ties to Russia, was reportedly stuck in a FBI field office in New York for several weeks in July 2016, during the same time period that officials in Washington, D.C. had already begun looking into Trump campaign associates’ ties to Russia, ABC News reported.
While it’s known that former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, and his drunken rant about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton in London in May 2016 are the circumstances that prompted the launch of the Russia probe, Trump has maintained that the contents of the dossier ignited the inquiry.
Steele, a former British MI6 agent was initially paid by a GOP group to collect opposition research on Trump during the primaries and the research was later bought by lawyers working for the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In July 2016, Steele reportedly sent an FBI agent in Rome the information he had collected. That agent then sent the opposition research to an agent in the FBI’s New York office, according to ABC’s sources. The documents were sent to the “wrong person,” ABC’s sources said, and the documents sat untouched in the field office for weeks, as counterintelligence officials in D.C. began looking into former Trump campaign associate Carter Page and chairman Paul Manafort.
“It took a long period of time for the New York field office to see it and realize what it was,” another source told ABC News. FBI officials in D.C. did not receive the dossier until September 2016.